By Stephanie Treccia
Head of Client Events and Stakeholder Initiatives
FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds
Tired of wasting time and other resources on cold leads? If you have raving client base, no matter the size, you are sitting on a gold mine. You don't even have to call clients up to ask for referrals. They are already talking about you. This enables you to skip the sales pitch and host extraordinary gatherings that you’ll enjoy too! Clients will not only want to come to your events, they will be delighted to bring their personal networks to you.
Events encourage referrals when they establish you as a trusted authority at the center of a network. Start with your client as the focus and use a framework of community building tactics. Mine your base and pull together a group of clients with shared passions and values. Get them involved by encouraging them to bring guests.
Try activities that cater to thrill seekers or the need to be physical. For example, organize a short hiking trip to get clients away from their typical environment or a walking tour of a historic nearby area or site. For less active but equally adventurous clientele, offer activities such as a hot air balloon ride. End outings with time to connect and unwind over light refreshments. For the foodies among your base, the possibilities to engage are almost infinite. Schedule a tour of a craft brewery or winery. Visit a local culinary school. As you sample the fare, encourage clients to discuss their "someday" dreams, (eg. starting a business or purchasing a vacation home) and encourage them to start planning for them.
Supporting your clients’ passions for charitable causes and advocacy is another effective way to build trust and strengthen relationships. Organize a volunteer day. Host a meet and greet for clients on the board of a non-profit or community building organization.
Build anticipation and demonstrate commitment to giving back with a major annual event or a planned calendar of periodic events, rotating around the non-profit affiliations and causes of your best clients.
Small, like-minded groups make it easier to connect one-to-one with clients and for shy or reserved attendees to open up. Large group events allow you and the guests to mingle freely, thereby increasing, as well as perhaps diversifying, your networks. No matter the group size, however, aim to make clients happy and establish their trust. They'll be talking about the events to their networks, creating buzz and anticipation for the next one.
Whatever you plan, don't forget:
- Promote the events as exclusive, but let clients bring guests from their personal networks.
- The setup and planning should always speak to your clients' passions and concerns.
- Showcase your authentic self--don't try to be overly familiar with guests or pass off novice level skills in an activity for expertise.
FlexShares wants to help financial advisors create amazing client relationships built, in part, through events built around their clients’ passions. We have developed a series of posts as well as a whitepaper, which can be used as a blueprint for executing your event planning strategy. Download our whitepaper today and stay tuned for more event marketing tips.
Created in conjunction with Tasha Williams utilizing Contently.